South Africa has in recent years seen employees embarking on strike actions from
different employment sectors. This impacts adversely on inter alia the economy,
investor confidence and the high rate of unemployment. As will be pointed out in the
research, BMW took a decision in 2013 to stop production into South Africa as a
result of the labour unrest that caused them to lose 13000 cars in production and to
miss supply targets. The strike in the construction industry in August to September
2012, cost employers an estimated R2.7 billion in lost revenue.
The research is aimed at establishing the cause of the unrest that is affecting South
Africa. The strike action should be the ultimate weapon when negotiations between
the employer and employees have failed. Parties to the employment relationship are
encouraged through the LRA and the Constitution to engage in collective bargaining.
Mechanisms such as organisational rights, bargaining forums, freedom of
association, no duty to bargain are aimed at achieving orderly collective bargaining.
Despite the current labour laws in place, which in my view are not onerous,
negotiations still fail. Could it be that the trade unions are desperate to gain and
maintain popularity and as a consequence present the employer with unreasonable
demands? Could it be that collective bargaining process needs to be revisited?
Educating trade union leaders should be considered as one of the factors in arriving
at a solution.
Some employers are considering alternatives rather than increasing their labour
force. With the high unemployment rate, this is a worrying reality and a solution is